The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a dire situation in Northern Gaza, where not a single functioning hospital remains. Richard Peeperkorn, the WHO representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, conveyed this alarming reality during a press briefing.
"There are actually no functional hospitals left in the north," he stated, depicting a healthcare system in collapse.Peeperkorn highlighted the case of Al-Ahli Hospital, previously the last operational medical facility in the area.
Due to acute shortages of fuel, power, medical supplies, and staff, the hospital is now "minimally functional."
He described Al-Ahli as "a shell of a hospital," which has ceased regular operations and is currently serving only as a hospice, offering minimal care.
Israel's Military Strategy and US Response
Concurrently, Israel has indicated to the United States a strategic shift in its military operations in Gaza. According to White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, Israel plans to transition from high-intensity operations to a lower-intensity phase.
John Kirby elaborated on this during a press briefing, stating, "The Israelis say they recognize the need to transition to a different phase of fighting." He explained that such a shift in military objectives usually involves different tactics and operations.However, John Kirby did not specify a timeline for this transition, noting that the decisions regarding the intensity and nature of these operations rest with Israel.
"We are not dictating terms and timelines to the Israelis," he mentioned, underscoring the US's stance on the matter.The situation in Gaza and Israel's military strategy have been subjects of high-level discussions in recent trips to the region by US officials.
He expressed the US government's hope for a near-future transition to lower-intensity operations, emphasizing safety and effectiveness.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and national security adviser Jake Sullivan have all visited Israel, engaging in dialogues about operational transitions and posing challenging questions.